Paella Salad


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Wolfgang PuckStarchy and filling, grain are nevertheless very light on the palate. The tiny individual grains work together to create a pleasingly complex texture with every bite, and they mix well with a wide variety of other ingredients, too. Serve this paella on top of a bed of baby greens, casually arranging some of the shrimp, chicken breast chunks and little cubes of bell pepper on top, so that your satisfying summer grain meal will begin by feasting with your eyes.

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Serving Size / Yield

4 servings


  • 4 C. canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 C. long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 lb. medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 C. shelled fresh peas
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 C. minced fresh chives
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/4 C. sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 C. mixed baby salad greens

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In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the broth and saffron to a simmer. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and keep the broth warm. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet or paella pan over high heat. Add the chicken breast cubes and sauté, stirring continuously, until they lose their pink color, about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and continue sautéing until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the rice, coating the grains thoroughly with the oil. Pour in the hot saffron broth and bring it to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Reduce the heat slightly and continue simmering briskly until the liquid no longer looks soupy but there is still a generous quantity of liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Arrange them on top of the rice mixture.

Transfer the skillet, uncovered, to the preheated oven. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated, 13 to 15 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the oven and immediately sprinkle on the peas, parsley and other fresh herbs. Cover the skillet and leave it until the rice has absorbed the remaining liquid and is tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Sherry Garlic Vinaigrette: Put the chives, parsley and garlic in a mixing bowl. Stir in the sherry vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisking continuously, drizzle in the olive oil. When the paella is done, spread it out immediately on a baking sheet, drizzle with half of the dressing, and let the paella cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes; then transfer to a dish, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight until well chilled.

Cover the remaining dressing and refrigerate. To serve, put the baby greens in a mixing bowl and toss them with a few Tbs. of the remaining dressing, just enough to coat them lightly. Arrange beds of baby greens on individual chilled serving plates. Mound the paella salad attractively on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)



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